I found a bottle of this stuff in my fridge the other day. I was craving something sweet and thought maybe I would replace my usual beverage of water with some V8 Vegetable Juice. But, before I poured myself a glass I had to know, is it really healthy?
My first concern was, “How much added sugar does this have? Most bottled juices should be avoided because they have way too much added sugar. Much to my surprise, the original V8 Juice doesn’t contain any added sweeteners. But what it does contain way too much of is sodium! One serving has 420 milligrams, which according to the Fooducate App is over 20% of the daily maximum. They point out that,
"Americans consume 4000mg of sodium daily when the miximum recommended amount is 2300mg…Many people should not exceed 1500mg. Most of the sodium in our diet comes from processed foods, not home cooking or the salt shaker. Excess sodium intake increases blood pressure, causes hypertension, and other heart problems.”
Another interesting little tidbit that I learned from this new favorite app of mine, is that just like the FDA has no real guidelines as to what can be defined as natural, juices that boast they are made from 100% fruit or 100% vegetables are allowed to include added “flavor packs.” For example, when oranges are processed for their juices, their natural oils, peel, and pulp are separated from the juice while it is pasteurized and the natural components are added back in later. How much later? Some juices can be stored for up to a year before being reunited with their natural components. So, as Fooducate so nicely put it, "100% Juice and not from concentrate does not mean fresh!”
Another factor to keep in mind is that V8 juices are made from concentrate. This means that most of the water is removed from the juice so that it can be stored and transported, and then it is added back in later. Sometimes this can be months later. So, once again, if your considering a juice made from concentrate, don’t expect that it was squeezed from its original source yesterday.
One more thing that needs to be highlighted is that V8, which is owned by Campbells, produces a very large line of many different V8 juices, some of which, despite being associated with a “healthful” brand, are much less healthy than they lead consumers to believe. Like this Pomegranate Blueberry Fusion Juice. Its label is marked by the American Heart Association as “Heart Healthy” and boasts the 100% Juice claim, yet it has more than 100 calories, 23 grams of sugar (!), and includes natural and artificial flavors. Just goes to show you that just because some of a compay’s products are relatively healthy, doesn’t meant they all are!
So, in conclusion, is V8 Original 100% Vegetable Juice really healthy? All in all, it will probably do your body more good than harm, especially if you’re not eating enough vegetables. It does contain a lot of vitamins and minerals that most people probably aren’t getting. But I say, why drink a processed juice from concentrate when there are plenty of delicious ways to incorporate more vegetables into your meals. Could’a cooked some more veggies!